Letter: Government making things worse, not better - The Star

10 June 2020 - The 172% hike in the taxi fare for a trip from Alexandra to Sandton, from R11 to R30, illustrates the effects of the government’s unjustifiable insistence on maintaining zombie elements of its destructive and wasted lockdown, forcing the poorest South Africans into even further hardship.

The 172% hike in the taxi fare for a trip from Alexandra to Sandton, from R11 to R30, illustrates the effects of the government’s unjustifiable insistence on maintaining zombie elements of its destructive and wasted lockdown, forcing the poorest South Africans into even further hardship.

The Alexandra-Randburg-Midrand-Sandton Taxi Association (Armsta) and the Alexandra Taxi Association (ATA) say they have no choice but to take this extreme measure, as it is the only way they can remain operational during the lockdown period.

The Institute of Race Relations argues that the government’s unnuanced decisions on lockdown regulations are responsible for this.

Instead of looking for solutions and policies to make the lives of South Africans easier and freer, the government has consistently betrayed its anti-freedom, anti-prosperity, anti-opportunity attitude by placing even more obstacles in the way of people who want to make an honest living. These obstacles, amply illustrated in the destructive and wasted lockdown and its being allowed to limp on, zombie-like, cruelly add to the difficulties people already under terrible socio-economic strain. South Africans need more freedom and more opportunity to escape the cycles and traps of poverty.

The ANC government talks glibly of helping the poorest and creating jobs, yet time and time again fails to walk the walk – in fact, forcing the poorest and most vulnerable South Africans to do the walking. The consequences of unjustifiable and destructive government intervention in the economy are tragically evident in this taxi fare increase many will be unable to afford.

Hermann Pretorius

Deputy Head of Policy Research, Institute of Race Relations

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